As you reach the age of 40, you will likely notice changes in your vision. Perhaps you have difficulty reading a book without glasses, or distinguishing between colours. These changes occur as an effect of ageing. However, nowadays people in their teens are also exposed to a host of eye disorders and vision problems, mostly resulting from eye injuries and visual stress.
The most common disorders of the eye, which affect the age group 19-40, are Refractive errors. The following signs and symptoms characterize such disorders-
• Double vision
• Halos or glares when you are surrounded by bright lights
• Eye strain
What are the Refractive errors?
Refractive errors develop when light cannot focus on the retina (the light-sensitive tissue situated at the rear side of the eye) directly due to the shape of the eye. The change in the cornea’s shape, the ageing of the lens, or the length of your eyeball can lead to refractive errors. Most people suffer from one or more of the above conditions.
Type of Refractive Errors:
Following are the most common types of refractive errors-
• Myopia or Nearsightedness - If you have this condition, you will see nearby objects clearly but distant objects will appear blurry. This happens because the light comes to focus right in front of the retina, instead of on the retina.
• Hyperopia or Farsightedness - This condition is just the opposite of myopia. Distant objects are clearly visible but those located close to you appear blurry. However, some people may not observe any problem with their vision at a young age. If you have significant hyperopia, objects at any distance, far or near, can appear blurry.
• Presbyopia - This age-related condition affects your ability to focus on things closely. This happens because as you age, the lens of the eye is unable to change shape to allow the eye to focus on nearby objects clearly.
• Astigmatism - In this condition, the eye cannot focus light onto the retina evenly. As a result, images appear stretched out and blurry.
• Amblyopia or Lazy eye - This vision development disorder begins during early childhood and infancy. In this condition, the eye does not achieve normal visual acuity despite using contact lenses or prescribed glasses. Usually, amblyopia affects only one eye.
Can early diagnosis help treat the problem?
Yes, it can. Your eye care specialist can diagnose refractive errors and detect what exactly is impeding your vision with a comprehensive dilated eye examination. Upon encountering the symptoms mentioned above, one should consult an ophthalmologist at the earliest and get oneself checked.
If the condition is detected early, vision problems due to refractive errors can be treated. The common treatment options include the use of contact lenses, prescription glasses, and surgery (in severe cases).
People with vision problems should also adopt some lifestyle changes to correct their vision - eat more veggies, get adequate sleep and rest, abstain from smoking etc. Additionally, you should get periodic eye check-ups to monitor the condition.
The ability to see is one of our greatest powers and it needs to be valued and looked after. Sometimes this involves wearing glasses to improve our vision. Spectacles not only help us see better but also prevent straining and further deterioration of the eye muscles. Here are a few signs to watch out for that will indicate your need for spectacles. Keep in mind however that a comprehensive eye exam is the only way to determine the power required for your spectacles.
- Blurred vision
Blurred vision or the inability to focus on something in the distance is one of the first signs of eye deterioration. When it comes to children, watch out for complaints of inability to read the writing on class blackboards.
- Frequent headaches
Unexplained headaches that come and go could be a sign that you need glasses. These headaches can usually be felt at the end of a long day or after watching television.
- Constant squinting
Squinting is a natural way to improve vision. This is because the act of squinting reduces extra light and light scattering thus allowing us to see something clearer. Thus, if you notice yourself squinting more than usual it is time to schedule an eye exam.
- Difficulty working on a computer
Struggling to read figures and words on a computer screen is usually a sign of poor vision. Try adjusting your screen angle and the distance of the screen from your eyes to see if your vision improves or worsens.
- Difficulty adjusting to lights
Sudden increased sensitivity to lights can be a sign of many eye disorders with vision problems being the most common.
- Eye strain
Occasional pain in the eyes after a long day or as a result of an allergic reaction is nothing to worry about. However, if this pain persists for a few days, it could be an indication that you need spectacles.
Deterioration of vision is usually a very gradual process and so you may not realize when it begins. However, the earlier you start wearing corrective glasses to improve your vision the easier it will be to control the deterioration of the eye muscles and you may even be able to rectify your condition completely. So, do not ignore any of these warning signs. Even if you do not have any of these symptoms, it is a good idea to get a thorough eye examination at least once a year.
The quality and sharpness of vision are generally measured with a Snellen chart. The Snellen chart shows letters of logically smaller size. Perfect vision is 20/20. This implies that the patient sees the same line of letters at twenty feet that a typical individual sees at twenty feet.
Here are a few doctor-recommended tips that can be followed in order to achieve a perfect vision. These are as follows:
1. Eat right for good vision
Taking good care of your eyes begins with the food that you eat. Food rich in fatty acids, lutein, zinc, vitamins C and E may avert age-related vision plus eyesight problems, for example, macular degeneration and cataract as shown by certain studies. Eating these food items daily can lead to healthy eyesight. Following are some of the nutrients that can help us do so:
2. Quit smoking
Smoking makes you more inclined to get a cataract, optic nerve damage and macular degeneration. The more times you attempt to stop smoking, the more probable you are to succeed.
3. Wear shades
The right sort of shades will shield your eyes from the sun's bright (UV) beams. An excess of UV exposure makes you more inclined to get cataracts and macular degeneration. Pick shades that protect eyes from ninety-nine to hundred percent of both UVA and UVB beams. Wraparound lenses shield your eyes from the side. Spellbound lenses diminish the glare when driving. Some of the contact lenses come with UV protection as well. It is still a smart thought to wear shades for more protection, however.
4. Turn away from the computer screen
Gazing at the computer screen for a long time can cause eye strain, foggy vision, trouble focusing at a distance and dry eyes. The muscles around the eyes start getting weak and painful if given too much strain. Turn down the screen brightness. However, you should not feel like you are gazing at a very bright light. In case you are reading from the computer, use the zoom capacity to make the content bigger.
5. Pencil exercise
Take a pencil, and place it someplace in the centre. Draw a letter, number or dot in on any side of the pencil. For this activity, you will concentrate on the pencil and the spot as you move it toward and far from your eyes. Pencil push-ups are rumoured to correct two-fold vision and crossed eyes, yet it cannot hurt to attempt for different issues as well since it is free, easy and just includes focusing and refocusing your eyes.
There are many common measures people take to improve their eyesight or improve their vision, including wearing glasses, lenses, and many more.
Here are some effective exercises which can prove to be highly beneficial to improve your eye health:
1. Stretching- This is the most common and also one of the easiest to do. It requires you to just look up, hold for two seconds, look down, hold for two seconds and then repeat this procedure for each corner of your eye, which means top-left, top-right, bottom-left and bottom-right corners.
2. Flexing- This is simply rotating your eyes in circles. Roll your eyes in the clockwise direction for one minute and then roll your eyes in the anti-clockwise direction for one minute.
3. Focus switching- This particular eye exercise is probably the most useful one to improve eye health. In this eye exercise, you have to hold something at a reading distance and cover the other eye. You then have to find something that is at least twenty feet away and trace its shape with one eye closed. With one eye closed, trace more shapes which are twenty feet away.
4. Palming- This exercise is also very simple to perform. All you have to do is cover your eyes with your palms. Once you have done this, just wait and see that there are no bright flashes of light. If you see that there is a bright flash of light, just wait till they go. This is used primarily to distress the eyes.
5. Deep blinking- This is also an incredibly useful exercise for distance vision. What you have to do is to place some large letters are at a fair distance and then sit on a chair. You have to then close your eyes and tighten all your muscles for 5 seconds. After 5 seconds are over, you have to open your eyes and then you have to see the letters for a second or two. The more number of times you do this, the more clearly you will be able to see the letters after reopening your eyes.
However, these eye exercises are not universally accepted by all doctors.
Eyeglasses and contact lenses are both used for vision correction. Both of the options have their advantages and disadvantages but a number of factors like lifestyle, comfort and age, etc. are important while deciding which one to choose. Here is a list of the fundamental differences between using spectacles and using contact lenses:
1. Distance from the cornea
Lenses are worn directly on the eye and are in constant physical contact with the cornea while glasses are worn over the eyes. Contact lenses may cause infections in the eye because the user has to touch the eye in order to wear them and to take them off.
2. Difference in vision
Since the lenses of the spectacles are a little distance away from the eye, vision can be slightly distorted but contact lenses can provide natural and accurate vision. Also, side vision is not improved by glasses as you have to turn your head to see what is beside you. The contacts move around with your eyeballs and the peripheral vision is in focus.
3. Ease of use
Some people find eyeglasses difficult to use because of the constant weight on the face and the obstruction caused by the frames of the glasses. There may also be a constant need to adjust the frames. Often eyeglasses slip down the nose when you sweat or engage in rigorous physical activity. Contacts are free from all these hassles - they are not distracting or obstructive and so they are extensively used by dancers and athletes. Spectacles are very uncomfortable to wear during the rains or in humid weather because they fog up.
4. Infections and complications
Contact lenses can get displaced inside the eye and they can be difficult to reposition. They also cause the eyes to itch and water if you wear them for a very long time at a stretch or if tiny dust particles enter your eyes. The use of eyeglasses is far more flexible in this respect - they can be removed in case your eye itches or burns, but regular use of glasses causes dark circles and bags under the eyes.
5. Aesthetic differences
People often prefer contact lenses as they do not change the physical appearance - they help you to look natural and you can also use colored lenses to change the color of your eyes. Glasses may look slightly unnatural but some people also prefer them for the fashion quotient.
There are many common measures people take to improve their eyesight or improve their vision, including wearing glasses, lenses, and many more. Here are some effective exercises which can prove to be highly beneficial to improve your eye health:
This is the most common and also one of the easiest to do. It requires you to just look up, hold for two seconds, look down, hold for two seconds and then repeat this procedure for each corner of your eye, which means top-left, top-right, bottom-left and bottom-right corners.
This is simply rotating your eyes in circles. Roll your eyes in the clockwise direction for one minute and then roll your eyes in the anti-clockwise direction for one minute.
3. Focus switching
This particular eye exercise is probably the most useful one to improve eye health. In this eye exercise, you have to hold something at a reading distance and cover the other eye. You then have to find something that is at least twenty feet away and trace its shape with one eye closed. With one eye closed, trace more shapes which are twenty feet away.
This exercise is also very simple to perform. All you have to do is cover your eyes with your palms. Once you have done this, just wait and see that there are no bright flashes of light. If you see that there is a bright flash of light, just wait till they go. This is used primarily to distress the eyes.
5. Deep blinking
This is also an incredibly useful exercise for distance vision. What you have to do is to place some large letters are at a fair distance and then sit on a chair. You have to then close your eyes and tighten all your muscles for 5 seconds. After 5 seconds are over, you have to open your eyes and then you have to see the letters for a second or two. The number of times you do this, the more clearly you will be able to see the letters after reopening your eyes.
However, these eye exercises are not universally accepted by all doctors.
In Ayurveda, the term ‘drishti dosha’ has been used to refer to eyesight issues. Ayurveda has identified and also explained a number of eyesight disorders. It has identified the causes, symptoms and different kinds of treatment for these eye disorders.
Causes of frail eyesight:
Weak eyesight is a common problem faced by people nowadays. Its major causes are -
Though the symptoms of eye-related problems vary from one type of disorder to another, there are certain common symptoms which include -
How Ayurveda Can Help?
Ayurveda has several remedies which one can use to correct eyesight.
1. Ayurvedic eye exercises are very effective to keep a check on further deterioration of eyesight issues. Practising simple eye exercise everyday can give you great relief.
2. Giving a break to your eyes from digital screens at least half an hour before bed and half an hour after getting up from the bed, can improve quality of sleep and eye health.
3. Following a healthy diet and sleeping habits can solve most of your health issues.
4. To improve visual acuity, there are several Ayurvedic remedies.
Visual impairment is a decreased ability to see to a degree that causes disabilities or problems, not fixable by usual means, such as glasses. Loss of vision may be acquired and develop suddenly. It may affect one or both your eyes.
What Causes Loss of Vision/Disability?
Loss of vision and disability can result from the following –
Clouding of normally transparent eye structures
Abnormalities in the retina
Abnormalities in the nerves carrying visual signals to the brain from the eyes
Can Psychological Rehabilitation Help Manage Visual Impairment?
Vision loss and disability often interfere with one’s functional ability in everyday tasks. Sometimes, the disability may be so devastating that it affects a person’s mental health and behaviour. Psychological Rehabilitation is designed to help such visually impaired people deal with disability or impairment.
Psychological rehabilitation involves a wide range of methods that aims to restore functioning after loss of vision, just as physiotherapy restores functioning after an injury or stroke. The program allows patients to continue living independently and maintain their quality of life despite vision loss.
Complete or partial loss of vision can jeopardize one’s career – you may not be able to continue with your job due to the disability. Many people suffer psychological and physical challenges, which force them to escape the outside world. Psychological rehabilitation helps in the following ways –
Helps individual understand and accept the disability, and find ways to cope with it
Motivates them in to keep trying
Cope with the pain and depression
Overcome feelings of fear or despair
Prevents the person from sinking into a state of self-pity, which may hinder recovery
Rehabilitation Psychology adopts a holistic and expansive approach to treat visual impairment.
Age-related macular degeneration, also known in brief as AMD or ARMD is one of the most common age-related causes for vision loss. It causes “blind spots” in vision, causing difficulty in activities requiring central vision like reading, sewing, driving, watching TV, computer usage, etc.
How it happens?
The centre portion of the eye is known as retina which has a screen in the posterior portion. For proper vision, light falls on this screen and is then processed to enable ‘vision.’ When this screen is not clear, blurred vision results. It may not cause total blindness but impairs vision including double vision and loss of central vision.
Types: There are two types of AMD, wet and dry.
Risk factors: Though age related, there are definitely some factors which put one at a higher risk for AMD
There is no cure, but progress can be delayed